Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has provoked outrage on International Women’s Day by saying that men should not have to make way for women’s empowerment.
“We’re not about setting Australians against each other, trying to push some down to lift others up,” Morrison told a function organized by Australia’s mining industry on March 8.
“We want to see women rise. But we don’t want to see women rise only on the basis of others doing worse.
“On social media, the comments sparked instant derision of Morrison, who has been criticized for the lack of female representation among his party’s leadership.
“Men who are threatened or worried of women achieving equality is the bloody problem,” tweeted Australian senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
Meanwhile, Independent MP Kerryn Phelps, who last year won a by-election seat given up by Morrison’s predecessor Malcolm Turnbull, gave the prime minister the emoji treatment, posting a single wide-eyed, shocked face in response to his comments.
After the event, Morrison tweeted: “Today is about appreciating all the women in our lives and our nation — celebrating their value and achievements.”